Wrapping up summer with a Jersey Shore music festival

Picture this: it’s the dead of winter, and I’m freezing in Western New York. I see an ad for a summer music festival in New Jersey, with promises of good music and fun times. To break out of this winter funk, I buy tickets after seeing Stevie Nicks headlining.

Fast forward to September 2022. I’m in Asbury Park, NJ, for Sea Hear Now Festival. It’s sunny, 80 degrees, and there’s not a cloud in sight.

As a native Jersey girl, Asbury Park is among one of many shore spots I’ve visited a few times with friends for a beach day. I always recommend it when people ask where to stop. My favorite parts: the art surrounding the beach and the variety of buskers playing music on the boardwalk.

Sea Hear Now elevated that experience. A large part of the beach was blocked off to make room for two stages, both facing each other on opposite sides of the beach. Another stage took up a nearby park. As I walked around the festival grounds, I saw several murals and art pieces were installed for everyone to take pictures with.

Every show was high-energy and super fun. Some of the artists I saw: Aly & Aj, Peach Pit, Backseat Lovers, Cage the Elephant and Shakey Graves. My favorite performance, by far, was Stevie Nicks. A bit cliche, I know, but to see a rock legend live and hear some of her iconic songs bounce across the beach was such an exciting experience.

As expected, the food was a bit pricey, and the lines were long. I mean, a slice of pizza for $10? That should be a crime…but I was hungry…so $10 later I had a pretty decent slice.

One element of the festival I was so thankful for was the hydration station. Being on the beach all day in the hot sun is…a lot. I refilled my water bottle several times to make sure I didn’t pass out on the sand. The best part: it’s free!

Overall, I loved the festival, and if I wanted to do it all again, I would probably splurge for the GA+ or VIP tickets. Since I had never attended the festival before, I purchased General Admission, which came out to around $245 for both days. Among the perks of VIP and GA+, you get closer to the stage — what a luxury!

If you have some extra concert money lying around and want to see a fun group of artists next September, I would definitely encourage you to check out Sea Hear Now. It’s a fun weekend on the beach with great tunes, and I’m patiently awaiting the 2023 lineup announcement.

The biggest achievement of the festival weekend: no sunburn. I finished this summer sunburn-less. An amazing feat I can only thank SPF 50 for.

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